Tomorrow is officially Valentine’s Day which means it is time to show a little extra love to the people you care about. Whether you have a partner or not, it’s important to remember that you yourself deserve a little extra love this time of the year.
So before you spend all of your energy thinking about others and how you can make them happy this Valentine’s Day, here are some simple ways you can practice self-love and self-care.
What is self-care?
Let’s start with what self-care is not. Self-care is not an act of self-indulgence or something you should feel guilty about doing. Simply put, self-care means taking care of yourself to be healthy, do well, and accomplish what you want to achieve. There are a few different categories of self-care to consider.
Emotional self-care, giving yourself alone time, saying “no” to unnecessary stressors, disconnecting from the noise of technology
Physical self-care, allowing yourself healthy amounts of sleep, choosing nutritional foods, adopting exercise routines that work for you
Spiritual self-care, spending time in nature, attending your preferred religious services, meditating, or keeping gratitude journals.
Self-care can help you manage stress, lower risks of illness, and increase your energy levels. Even small acts like going to bed earlier or choosing to read a book over scrolling on your phone can significantly impact your quality of life.
5 Ways to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day
Now that we have an understanding of what self-care is, here are a few ways to show ourselves more love this Valentine’s Day:
- Gift yourself time to clean: There are few things in life as spiritually nourishing as decluttering your space. Valentine’s Day is a fantastic time to pour out a wine glass for one and clean out your closet, tossing away the things that don’t bring you joy. Having a clean space to yourself can significantly improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and even help with focus.
- Start a healthy habit: it feels as though there’s never enough time in our schedules to start healthy habits. Consider allowing yourself the time to start. Go for a short hike, take the time to meditate, or learn a new nutritious recipe. It’s usually easier to start something new when we make an event out of it.
- Turn off the devices: While there’s always a time for enjoying hours of social media alone in your PJs, studies have shown a direct inverse relationship between happiness and social media use. Try to treat yourself to a totally unplugged day this Valentine’s. Visit your favorite book store, treat yourself to coffee or a meal. Reflect on how those experiences make you feel, and allow yourself to be aware of your surroundings.
- Visit your healthcare provider: Like starting healthy habits, life often makes it feel like we don’t have the time to see our healthcare providers. The process of scheduling your annual exam or the anxiety of having your teeth examined can be an exhaustive ordeal for many. Instead of scheduling an appointment during your busy work week or on a precious Saturday, use this Valentine’s Day as a special time to look after your physical health.
- Take a breath: taking a break and letting yourself breathe for as little as five minutes can help you reduce stress. It is one of the easiest things we can do for ourselves, yet in the midst of choosing the perfect outfit or booking the most romantic restaurant, we often forget.
Why therapy is self-care
If self-care is all about setting aside time for yourself to work on your health and happiness, then therapy is a fantastic way to work with a professional who can provide you with the tools and frameworks needed to do just that. Working with a therapist will allow you to explore your feelings and build healthy habits that allow you to be happier and healthier.
If you are considering working with a professional, reach out to Resilience Lab’s Care Coordinator team to start your journey. Our mission is to connect you to a therapist specifically tailored to your needs. Get started by emailing CareCoordinator@resiliencelab.us
Are you looking to work on self-love by establishing healthier sleep routines? Check out Dahlia Mayerson, LMSW’s latest post on Hustle Culture and Sleep Shame! The most diverse collective of New York-based therapists are sharing their insights and offering advice covering a wide range of topics here in the Thought Lab.